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Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Mache Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinegarette

With the warm spring weather and more sunny-filled days, I find myself craving lighter, brightly colored foods. I love eating a delicious salad with a homemade dressing on a sunny day. Today is one of those days! I have been eating lots of cleansing, nourishing foods because I currently have Mastitis which is occurs in some women when they are breastfeeding, which I still am. It's not very pleasant, but I find that I feel better faster, when I eat really clean, healthy foods. I bought some local Mache lettuce from one of the farmer's markets and I had no idea what it was! I usually make my salads with spinach but the man working there, was so kind to let me try some! He did too! How cool is that?! Munching on some mache at your local market! Fun! Anyways, it doesn't have a strong flavor. It makes me feel 'clean' when I eat it, so it has become a staple in this weeks' meals in our house!

I looked up the nutritional value of Mache lettuce when I came home, expecting it to have minimal nutritional value. I was pleasantly enlightened when I learned that Mache lettuce (also called lamb's lettuce), is low in calories, high in Vitamin C and B-9, and it contains more iron than spinach! Wow! How sweet is that?!! I have attached the link to one of the websites I found that is full of great info on the nutritional value of Mache lettuce. Here is the nutritional value of Mache lettuce according to the worldwidegourmet website:
  • Calories 19
  • Total proteins 2 g
  • Available carbohydrates 2 g
  • Fibre 1.7 g
  • Sodium 4 mg
  • Potassium 459 mg
  • Magnesium 13 mg
  • Phosphorus 53 mg
  • Calcium 38 mg
  • Iron 2.2 mg
  • Carotene 4 250 mg
  • Vitamin B1 0.07 mg
  • Vitamin B2 0.09 mg
  • Vitamin B6 0.27 mg
  • Vitamin C 38 mg
  • Vitamin E 0.3 mg
  • Vitamin B3 0.41 mg
  • Vitamin B5 0.04 mg
  • Vitamin B9 (Folates) 160 mg
Not bad! I was really impressed! No wonder I feel so empowered after eating this salad! So my salad is easy to make and delicious! You can add your favorite dressing or use mine which I feel compliments the flavors beautifully.

Jayanna's Mache Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinegarette:

3 handfuls of mache lettuce (rinse gently, as heavily washing or soaking depletes the nutritional value tremendously)
1/4 avocado, sliced and cubed

1/2 tomato, sliced in pieces

1/4 cucumber, sliced in pieces

1 tbsp. of hemp hearts

1 scoop of chia seeds

Place the mache onto a plate. Place all of the remaining ingredients on top. Drizzle with the maple balsamic vinegarette (recipe below) and store the remaining dressing in a glass container for up to 1 week in the fridge to use next time!

Maple Balsamic Vinegarette:

2 tbsp. of olive oil

2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. of dijon mustard

1 1/2 tsp. of pure maple syrup

Pour all of the ingredients into a glass container (preferably a jar to make pouring easiest. Mix all of the ingredients so that the oil is distributed and drizzle over salad. Store remaining dressing in the fridge for up to one week. I have to thank Amy for inspiring this vinegarette recipe! When we lived together, she taught me so much, including how to make amazing and healthy dressings! One of our favorite things to do was create delicious dishes together! Back then we had what we called "Havarti Parties"! Amy is living currently in China but when she comes back we'll have to come up with a new name for our 'parties' that's vegan-friendly!!!

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